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Full text of "A history of Persia"

LV

THE MONGOL CATACLYSM          161

Before he attacked a kingdom, a summons to submit was
despatched in the following terms," If you do not submit,
how can we tell what will happen ? God alone knows ! "
If the ruler submitted, he was bound to give immediately
a large sum of money and the tenth of everything,
including his subjects. Mongol governors were then
appointed, and the country was ruined by their exactions
and atrocities. If resistance was offered and the city
was strong, the surrounding country was devastated and
treachery was attempted. At this stage of the operations
an ambush was frequently successful. If the city still
held out, lines were dug round it by prisoners, who also
were driven to head the assaults, and attacks in relays
gave the besieged no rest. Moreover, the fact that the
Mongols possessed themselves of every known military
engine, and had even a corp of miners, is sufficient in
itself to show the genius for war that distinguished their
leader. In the field their tactics were admirable. They
understood the art of feigning retreat, of envelopment
and of surprise, and, as battle after battle was fought
and won against nations employing different methods of
warfare, the sum of their experience made them invincible.
The feelings of Chengiz Khan himself may be
exemplified in the following saying attributed to him :
" The greatest joy is to conquer one's enemies, to pursue
them, to seize their property, to see their families in
tears, to ride their horses, and to possess their daughters
and wives." l

VOL. II                                                                                        M